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- 2016 - November - 25th -

Bold City Downtown expects to open brewery by early January

  • The mother-son duo of Susan and Brian Miller opened Bold City Brewery eight years ago and now they’re poised to finish an expansion into the urban core. Bold City Downtown, on Bay Street next to the Cowford Chophouse, is expected to open by early January.

  • Brian Miller looks over floor samples for the shotgun-style brewery being built out.

  • A photo of the Bold City Downtown bar under construction. The base is made of older metal Florida-Times Union newspaper boxes.

  • The narrow, shotgun-style space Downtown will have a bar, cold storage and small brewing system. There will be 11 beer taps available.

By David Chapman, Staff Writer

Susan Miller hoped the shotgun-style Downtown brewery would open by August or September.

But, as she describes it, “old building issues” cropped up in the space adjoining the under-construction Cowford Chophouse.

There was a support beam eaten by termites, a wall that needed to be expanded and a white tin roof the owners wanted to keep.

On Tuesday — just like every Tuesday the past several months — Miller and her son, Brian, checked on the progress for what will soon be Bold City Downtown, an offshoot of the popular Bold City Brewery in Riverside.

“It’s going to happen,” said Susan Miller, who owns the brewery with Brian. “It’s going to be well worth it.”

Brian Miller said he can now see the business starting to take shape. Bathrooms in the back of the slender space are framed out and he can envision where the bar, cold storage and brewing are going.

Fans should be able to see a finished product soon for themselves. Susan Miller said she anticipates opening in mid-December or early January.

And when Bold City does open, it will knock off a few long-awaited benchmarks — “three birds with one stone,” as Brian Miller describes.

It will expand the presence of the business Downtown. It lets them open a storefront in a shotgun style, which they’ve sought for a while. And it allows a little more flexibility when it comes to the beer offerings.

The Bay Street location will have a much smaller brewing system than the Rosselle Street tap room and warehouse where most of the mainstay beers are brewed.

Smaller, more isolated batches mean less risk of contamination and the chance for the company’s brewers to get creative.

Or, as Brian Miller told them, an opportunity to “make their own music album.”

Brewers will shift from Riverside to the Downtown locale on a regular basis to allow the opportunity to experiment.

Susan Miller said there will be 12 taps on-site, with one dedicated to water.

“We learned that pretty quick at the other site,” she said.

The Millers have their required paperwork and progress has sped up, but there still is one distinct aspect of the building they need to work on with the city. They are seeking approval from the Historic Preservation Commission to modify the building’s front windows.

The Millers would like to keep the look and feel while allowing them to open to the inside and provide a more open space for customers, along with the occasional breeze.

“We want it to be a good, relaxing place to have a beer,” said Brian Miller.

After some slight delays, it’s on track just for that.

dchapman@jaxdailyrecord.com

(904) 356-2466

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